Take Back Your Mornings

Most people think that What NOT to Wear, like many other reality TV shows, is all smoke and mirrors, and fun and games.

Mostly it is.

Well, there wasn’t a lot of smoke (except for when Ted burned my golden-rod colored scrunchie), but mirrors and fun and games?

Totally.

It was a full blast from the moment my plane touched down at JFK, to the moment I slid my fully coiffed hair back into my own bed a week later.

Well, except for the big Red Couch Break Down. And the 360 mirror. And the first day shopping debacle. And…

Whatever.

It was mostly fun.

And happy. And positive. And mind-blowingly awesome!

But, it was also a pretty fantastic learning opportunity for me, too.

Fashion tips specific for my mom-of-three body. Hair tips perfect for my naturally curly hair. And, make-up tips for my individual skin type and tone.

All of which are easy to get behind while four of the most popular celebrity hair, makeup, and fashion stylists are telling you about them.

But how to make this happen at home?

During the dreaded get-ready-for-school-NOW-or-so-help-me morning rush?

While my nine year old and six year old fight over the toothpaste as my three year old dances around my bathroom wearing nothing but a pair of rain boots?

That is the challenge.

After a few weeks back in the battle zone I think I’ve got it figured out mostly and I’m here to share it with you!

Dumb Mom’s Guide to Looking Fabulous Even if You Have to Lock Yourself in the Laundry Room to Do It

1. Get a head start. I used to be all about sleeping until the last possible second. I would stay in bed, head under the covers, until one of the monkeys came and tapped on my forehead to wake me up. Those days are gone. I now set the clock for at least 45 minutes before one of them is scheduled to awaken. Even if I spend all of my free time on Facebook, at least I feel like I’m in control of my day instead of the three-year-old. Days controlled by three-year-olds are bound to end badly.

2. Plan ahead. I make it a point to do as much of the background prep work for our days the night before. I’m not talking about just putting the Lunchables in the lunch boxes making the lunches, I’m talking about stuff for me, too. I make sure I know what I’m going to wear the next day, and I take a few minutes to dig it out of the dryer iron it or inspect it for kid-strainage, so it’s ready to go when the chaos pops off in the morning.

3. Have the right materials. This is the key ingredient to making #2 work for you. Having a closet full a closet full of expertly matched clothing definitely makes my mornings easier, but even if you can’t go hang out in NYC with Stacy and Clinton for a week, this is a task you can definitely accomplish on your own. With spring approaching, I’ve recently had to do some shopping on my own. But I’m more strategic about it now. They taught me how to choose just a few, anchor pieces, that I can dress up and down and all around. All of my clothing doesn’t exactly match, but most of it coordinates nicely and can be mixed and matched for easy changes based on the occasion and the weather and if it’s the bloated time of the month stuff. No matter what I choose I know that it’s going to make me look put together, and appropriate and um, awesome!

4. Enlist help. My entire family is on board with the Make Mommy a Human Again Project. They know how much better I feel about myself when I’m allowed to like, brush my teeth three to five times per week. I’m just more agreeable, more focused, and more successful mommy if I take 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to be human. It’s never to early for The Dudes to learn that if mommy is happy, everyone is happy. I see it as part of their overall development anyway. And, a service to future wives of boys everywhere!

5. Give yourself a break. This is the most important aspect of all. Some morning, maybe all you want to do is lock the laundry room door and down a box of Oreos. and, when this happens I say just go with it. I’m not suggesting this is a particularly useful way to spend your morning, but sometimes, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. Relieving the stress of the situation will make you feel better (right before you feel worse thanks to the 3000 calories of your sugar you ingested) and your kids will too. Besides, I’m a huge proponent of door locks. And hiding from your kids. And Oreos.

Want to follow Dumb Mom on her journey to stay mom awesome? Check her out on her blog, parenting By dummies, and be sure to stop by every Friday for Formerly Frumpy Fridays and What’s in Your Closet.

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